Your Bubbe's Grain Is Trending
Mushrooms and onions add a savory note to a healthy, traditional grain.
There are a whole bunch of classic Jewish foods that have long since taken root on the New York food scene. Bagels are the most obvious example, but others like matzah ball soup, chocolate babka and pastrami on rye have transformed from Jewish classics to Manhattan traditions. Other Jewish foods lie somewhere in a grey zone, familiar to many outside the faith but not quite at that iconic status. One of those is kasha, also known as buckwheat, a Jewish Ashkenazi staple. It was a common filling for foods like knishes and blintzes, and of course in the classic kasha varnishkes pasta dish, but with the 21st century's renewed focus on eating whole grains, it has returned to vogue.
Toasting the buckwheat before mixing it with sauteed mushrooms and onions elevates the simple peasant food into a tasty and pleasing side dish for any meal. The egg white in the recipe helps to keep the grains of the kasha separate and fluffy without clumping. This base recipe is of course infinitely adaptable to the vegetables or other toppings you'd like to include in your kasha.
Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.